If the latest NHL trade rumors are true, don’t expect the Ottawa Senators to trade captain Erik Karlsson by the 2018 NHL trade deadline.
The Ottawa Senators are facing an important trade deadline. With the right moves, they could set themselves up well for the future. If the Senators play their cards right, they might even be able to talk captain Erik Karlsson, who’s a free agent after next season, to stay around. Though the captain has been the biggest name in recent NHL trade rumors, it seems unlikely the Senators will trade him at the deadline.
This doesn’t mean Ottawa hasn’t been entertaining offers. General Manager Pierre Dorion has been doing his due diligence. But at this point, the Senators must feel like the return wouldn’t be worth it. This doesn’t rule out a summer trade, potentially as soon as the 2018 NHL Draft.
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However, a trade post-July 1st seems most likely. The Senators need to try everything they can to keep Karlsson. They aren’t allowed to sign him to an extension until after July 1 (the beginning of the new league year).
Considering how dire their future looks without Karlsson, Ottawa would probably have to be blown away to trade their captain.
The objective of the Senators from here on out is to clear salary. This should make it easier for them to be able to afford Karlsson’s next contract.
He’s going to likely command an annual cap hit of at least $10 million. Most of the salary is likely going to have to be front-loaded.
Anything can happen in the NHL. Wayne Gretzky, the greatest player in the world at the time, got traded. But it appears a team is going to have to really impress the Senators to pry Karlsson loose. And rightfully so, as the Senators captain is a generational talent on the blue line.